After much anticipation, English singer-songwriter Scott Swain has released his second EP Isolation! Swain experiments with different sources of inspirations and genres to offer an energetic album that is full of variety, while throwing into the mix social commentary that gives even more depth to an already awesome tracklist. Isolation is an EP that is not afraid of saying what it has to say in a melodic manner.
Those who are familiar with Scott Swain’s may think they already have an idea of what Isolation sounds like. Afterall, we already had a preview of the EP in this blog with the single “Skeletons“. We already know what to expect… right? To our surprise, this single was just the peak of the iceberg: each of the five tracks that make up Isolation are unique on their own way. Swain is able to flow from genre to genre without any whiplash whatsoever: from hard rock, to country, to ballad and to alt rock; from Nick Cave to Johnny Cash. The variety of Isolation guarantees that the listeners will find something that they will like, no matter their musical taste.
How is Scott Swain able to achieve such diversity in an EP and tie it all up together in such a successful way? It may as well be due to two factors. One is without a doubt Swain’s unique approach to writing music. All of the tracks that make up Isolation are inspired by different films. If one listens carefully, not only to the lyrics, but also to the general mood that the track conveys, they may be able to identify the film that inspired it. In this way, as we said in our coverage of “Skeletons”, makes the listener engage directly with the themes of the track and the EP. On a related note, the second factor is the surprisingly dark recurring theme of Isolation: abuse. The tracks from the EP cover this theme in each of their variants such substance abuse, abuse of power, systemic abuse and relationship abuse. The themes and the composition method give Isolation a background that gives Scott Swain the freedom he needs to approach each track in the way he deems necessary and the leeway needed to exploit his talent.
For example, the first track of the album “Victims” is a guitar heavy hard rock track that sings about abuse of power. It is inspired by the film Taxi Driver, adapting the anger of the main character of the film to musical form. “Skeletons”, as previously covered in the blog, is also about political abuse, focusing on structural violence. It is an upbeat track inspired by the film Sleepers that allows to speak ironically about the violence hidden in the systems of the government. “Look Out Ahead!” bases itself on Lost Highway. It is about alcoholism and its use as a coping mechanism. It is a country track that suddenly transforms midway through into an heavy alt-rock song, without ever losing its dark attitude, mirrowing the arc of the film’s main character. “Here’s to Moving Forward” is an energetic alt-rock track. Inspired by Requiem for a Dream, it is about the codependency of drug abuse and certain relationships. It is full of metaphors, putting Swain’s vocals in the spotlight. Finally, the last track of the EP, “Like Nothing Else”, is the calmest track of the bunch. A ghostly country-like vibe that was inspired by Event Horizon, it covers the dark side that everybody has.
Isolation is an EP that shows Scott Swain’s innovative musical ability. An album with dark subject matter, that yet allows itself to experiment and be extremely melodical and upbeat. Scott Swain is not afraid to completly transform the musical style of the EP depending on what exactly is what each of the track needs depending on its film inspiration and what it is trying to say. Isolation is an EP that engages a listener, attracting their attention and hooking them up from beginning, to end.
Don’t forget to support this project and to follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Spotify. You can also check out his official website. If you enjoy their music and are able to provide monetary support, you might consider downloading it on Bandcamp.
It also helps to stream and share her music; you can obviously find it in the following Playlists: Less Than 1,000 Followers, Indie Only, Chill – Folk – Acoustic, Alterindie State Of Mind, and Sickest & Dopest.